By Lara Lattman | 04/19/2016

Great Food Tips to Help You Sleep with Lara Lattman

Great Food Tips to Help You Sleep with Lara Lattman

Getting enough sleep can be a struggle. Did you know that your diet may be to blame? What you eat and drink – and when you eat and drink it – can mean the difference between tossing and turning and sweetly snoozing. When you’re trying to get some rest, try the following food recommendations from integrative nutritionist Lara Lattman.

Balance your blood sugar

One of the biggest issues interfering with your sleep is unbalanced blood sugar. If your blood sugar constantly goes up and down, you’ll have trouble falling and staying asleep. To keep your blood sugar balanced, start out your day with protein and vegetables, and make sure that every meal has healthy fats, protein and complex carbohydrates.

Try cherry

No, not the sugary maraschino kind. Tart cherries and tart cherry juice actually increase your production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your sleep cycles. If are having trouble sleeping, eat some cherries or drink at least 4 oz. of cherry juice before bed. If you drink cherry juice, make sure that it’s concentrate. Mixing the cherry juice with other sugary fruit juices can throw off your blood sugar and keep you awake.

Go nuts

Waking up because you’re hungry is both unpleasant and frustrating. To prevent this from happening, have a handful of raw nuts before bed. Nuts increase the levels of melatonin and serotonin in your brain and keep your blood sugar stable as you sleep.

Cut back on sugar

Sugary foods and fruit juices can unbalance your blood sugar, causing it to peak and then fall. To improve your sleep, replace fruit juice with water or tart cherry juice concentrate, and avoid eating sugary food close to bedtime.

Drink your coffee in the morning

Caffeine is an obvious culprit when you can’t sleep. Though everyone reacts to caffeine differently, a good rule of thumb is to limit your intake to mornings. Avoiding coffee after noon will give your body time to purge the caffeine from your system.

Give yourself time to digest

Don’t eat a huge meal and then go right to sleep. Instead, eat your big meal at least three hours before bed. This will give you time to digest your food and give your blood sugar a chance to stabilize.

Unbalanced blood sugar is the culprit for many sleep issues. Climbing and crashing blood sugar keeps you awake, while balanced blood sugar makes it much easier to fall and stay asleep. Balancing your blood sugar also has the additional benefit of making it easier to wake up in the morning. Between more restful sleep and easier mornings, balancing your blood sugar will go a long way towards improving your sleep issues and your quality of life.

About Lara Lattman

Lara Lattman is a Certified Nutrition Specialist and a Licensed Dietician-Nutritionist at Five Stones Healing Arts & Wellness Center in Leesburg, Va. She focuses on helping her clients achieve a well balanced, nourishing way of eating. She uses food as medicine, and when necessary adds in professional grade supplements tailored to each individual’s needs.

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